In our eBook, Launching Customer Experience Insights, we spoke about the need to launch insights throughout your organization. Now let’s take a step back and look at what is needed to create insights. The process goes beyond facts and data.
“An insight reaches beneath the surface and outside of conventional boundaries to grasp the essence of what must be done…It is a combination of creative thinking and analysis, intensity, intuition, knowledge, data, and imagination.” (Bertrand Cesvet, Chief Strategy Officer, Sid Lee)
Without a doubt, surveys and the resulting data are important to the generation of insights. But that is just the beginning. Creative and strategic thinking applied across multiple data sources – not just surveys – is needed to yield rewarding insights. So, thinking beyond the survey, here are a few ideas to get you started:
Customer Feedback Channels
Most businesses give customers many opportunities to give feedback on their products, services, brands, and experiences. Service inquiries, comment cards, product/service reviews, customer panels or communities – all of these are rich sources of feedback that can lead to insights that change your perspective. A top priority today is social media comments. Monitoring Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social sites allows you to keep a pulse on current perceptions and also gives you the opportunity to learn more about and connect with your customers and prospects.
By linking survey data with existing information you have regarding your business and customers, such as demographics, purchase transactions, or product usage behavior, you can better prioritize insights and demonstrate the true impact of change. For example, you are more likely to get funding for new customer initiatives if you can give senior decision-makers specific numbers showing the benefits (e.g., an increase in xx number of customers or $xx in additional revenue).
Also look beyond the ratings in your customer experience surveys. Simply adding open end questions, where respondents can explain their answers, can provide a new perspective on traditional metrics. Another tool to consider is follow-up qualitative discussions with select survey respondents to probe deeper into the reasons behind their ratings.
“Early Warning” Feedback
While conducting surveys, identify any dissatisfied customers or those who would like to discuss their situation with your company, and develop a process so you can follow up quickly with these customers. In addition to giving you an opportunity to remedy their dissatisfaction, you learn about the reasons for dissatisfaction and the impact on their overall experience, which is important in creating valuable new insights.
As an insight explorer, you must view all information as an opportunity. By going beyond the survey and looking strategically at all available sources of customer information, you can create insights that improve satisfaction, loyalty, and your bottom line.